13-06-2017 | EYE ON REPUTATION – NewsRoom

EYE ON REPUTATION – NewsRoom 13-06-2017

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Cabinet meeting abruptly called for Tues.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ office on Monday announced that a previously unscheduled Cabinet meeting will be held on Tuesday, two days before a crucial Eurogroup meeting convenes. The latter meeting serves as the latest “unofficial deadline” for concluding the second review of the current Greek bailout program.

http://www.naftemporiki.gr/story/1246132/cabinet-meeting-abruptly-called-for-tues

ECB’s Cœuré: Athens has done its part, now it’s the Eurogroup’s turn

ECB  executive board member Benoît Cœuré told Bloomberg this week that it’s now the Euro zone finance ministers’ turn to “deliver” in confirming the sustainability of the Greek debt, speaking days before Thursday’s crucial Eurogroup meeting.

http://www.naftemporiki.gr/story/1246181/ecbs-c%C5%93ure-athens-has-done-its-part-now-its-the-eurogroups-turn

Οne fatality reported from quake damage on isle of Lesvos

The body of a 43-year-old woman was pulled from the rubble of a residence in the village of Vrisa, on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos, hours after a strong earthquake was recorded in the early afternoon, with an epicenter south of the isle.

http://www.naftemporiki.gr/story/1246105/one-fatality-reported-from-quake-damage-on-isle-of-lesvos

PPC plays down impact of lignite mine collapse

Public Power Corporation (PPC) is playing down the impact of a huge landslide at a lignite mine in the region of Kozani, in western Macedonia, which forced the evacuation of a nearby village.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/219191/article/ekathimerini/news/ppc-plays-down-impact-of-lignite-mine-collapse

Three in 10 Athens stores remain shut

Almost three in every 10 stores in the Athens city center remain closed, and on certain streets that used to brim with life, such as Harilaou Trikoupi, shuttered shops approach 50 percent, according to a new survey conducted by the Institute of Commerce and Services of the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Enterprises (INEMY ESEE).

http://www.ekathimerini.com/219188/article/ekathimerini/business/three-in-10-athens-stores-remain-shut

Average salary fell 2.07 pct within a year

Employees in Greece’s private sector are typically young – aged up to 49 years – and on low salaries, statistics on worker data submitted to the Single Social Security Entity (EFKA) by employers have shown, with the average salary from the year starting in August 2015 dropping 2.07 percent across the sector.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/219190/article/ekathimerini/business/average-salary-fell-207-pct-within-a-year

Banks less dependent on emergency funding

Emergency central bank funding to Greek lenders dropped by 1.4 billion euros, or 3.3 percent, in May compared to the previous month, Bank of Greece data showed on Monday.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/219187/article/ekathimerini/business/banks-less-dependent-on-emergency-funding

ATHEX: Stocks fend off PPC pressure

French support for the cause of easing Greece’s debt burden, as expressed by France’s Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, gave the Athens bourse benchmark enough of a push to shake off the Public Power Corporation pressure on Monday, with the vast majority of stocks notching up gains.

http://www.ekathimerini.com/219173/article/ekathimerini/business/athex-stocks-fend-off-ppc-pressure

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KATHIMERINI: Menidi has become a tinderbox

TA NEA: The creditors’ new proposal is the old one

EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: French proposal, German decision

AVGI: “Flexibility” will lead to a compromise

RIZOSPASTIS: The government bargains with the capitalists presenting anti-popular measures

KONTRA NEWS: Government stays alert for the closing of the bailout programme review

DIMOKRATIA: Agony for the wake of Enceladus

NAFTEMPORIKI: What is going to determine the agreement

EUROPE TURNED UPSIDE DOWN BY POLITICAL UPHEAVAL: As British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron met in Paris, France is suddenly ascendant, Britain on the rocks, and all of Europe’s incumbents on alert. Paul Taylor in his latest Europe at Large column writes: “The Brexit shock focused voters’ minds around the Continent on what they stood to lose if the EU fell apart, helping turn the tide against anti-European populists in Austria, the Netherlands and France … In normal times, Britain would look to strengthen its historic relationship with the United States to compensate for its loss of influence in Europe. But these are not normal times. A free-trading U.K. is more at odds with Trump’s ‘America first’ protectionism than with the EU’s version of managed open trade.”

The Prague European Summit kicks off today, running through Thursday.

COMMISSION — EU MOVES TO CONFISCATE LONDON’S EURO-CLEARING BUSINESS: The European Commission will today propose the European market infrastructure regulation (EMIR). The rules, if agreed by European Parliament and national governments, would tighten the regulation of derivatives, so businesses posing a systemic risk to the EU’s economy may need to be based in the EU itself.

Jim Brunsden for Financial Times reports that under the proposal, the European Securities and Markets Authority, based in Paris, could clamp down on clearing houses with “specifically substantial systemic significance” to the financial system. One such business is LCH, a London-based company that “processes around three-quarters of global euro-denominated derivatives and is therefore highly likely to be deemed “systemic.”

Press conference at around 5 p.m., after the College of Commissioners meeting in Strasbourg. Watch here.

**A message from the EPP Group: The EP is set to back new and sensible energy labels for household appliances to help consumers. After almost all appliances made it into either the A+++ or the A++ classes, the highest in the current classification, energy labels will be rescaled to the renewed A to G class labels from the previous scheme.**

COMMISSION — EU PUSHES FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST POLAND, HUNGARY, CZECHIA OVER REFUGEE REFUSAL: Jacopo Barigazzi reports Poland and Hungary haven’t taken in a single refugee between them despite a policy they agreed to in 2015, whereby 160,000 refugees would be distributed across EU countries. The Czech Republic, which holds elections in October, took in just 12 refugees last year and none this year. In response, the European Commission is this week expected to launch infringement proceedings against the three.

EU BUDGET — TAJANI WANTS TO DIVERT FARMER FUNDS: “European Parliament President Antonio Tajani is drawing up proposals for a radical overhaul of the EU budget, which would slash sums devoted to its prime beneficiaries: farmers. Tajani’s plan, which also involves switching the budget cycle from seven years to five, would divert money towards security, immigration, youth unemployment and climate change,” report Giulia Paravicini and Simon Marks.

ECHR — TURKISH DETAINEES COULD BE CUT OFF FROM COURT APPEAL OPTIONS: With domestic courts already in chaos, for thousands of Turks imprisoned without charge, appeals to the European Court of Human Rights are often the only hope. But if Turkey reinstalls the death penalty, ECHR court appeals will no longer be an option, reports Zia Weise.

LABOR — ITUC GLOBAL RIGHTS INDEX: Attacks on union members are documented in 59 countries, according a new report by the International Trade Union Confederation. Sharan Burrow, ITUC general secretary, warned of a hidden workforce operating without protection in the economic shadows. The Philippines, South Korea and Kazakhstan have joined the 10-worst ranking for the first time this year. The Middle East and North Africa are the worst regions, with persistent slave systems still operating in Gulf countries, ITUC said.

EUROPEAN CITIZENS INITIATIVE — ANTI-MARRIAGE EQUALITY UPDATE: Playbook Friday reported on an initiative called Mum, Dad and Kids, which claimed to have collected 1 million signatures against marriage equality. European Commission justice officials contacted Playbook to say this claim is misleading and that petition organizers missed a December 11 deadline to officially register the signatures as a request for legislative action. This citizens’ initiative will therefore fail to meet the EU’s requirements unless national authorities soon unexpectedly verify the signatures.

BREXIT AND THE GREAT BRITISH ELECTION CIRCUS …

Theresa May 2.0 survives angry flock of MPs: The British prime minister appeared before her MPs Monday night at the Conservative Party’s so-called 1922 Committee. Several MPs told Charlie Cooper that May told the crowd: “I got us into this mess I’ll get us out of it.” May, whose robotic campaign performance attracted ridicule, was in better form Monday night, her partisan audience claimed. “There was no sign of the Maybot,” said one MP speaking on condition of anonymity.

Brexit ministerial changes: David Jones is out and Baroness Anelay in as a junior Brexit minister.

Soft Brexit, hard Brexit, how about a get-on-with-it Brexit, says the EU.

Red flag — new Commission Brexit talking point: Keep your ears pricked for some variation of this phrase: “I don’t know what hard Brexit or soft Brexit means.” Both the EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans used variations of the phrase with journalists Monday.

Timmermans was speaking to NOS Nieuwsuur. “It has almost been a year now since the referendum and we still don’t know what they want,” he said. “We don’t want any accidents round the Irish issue because that has been one of the biggest political victories in the last 40 years. We don’t want it to crumble down now.”

Repurposed British cliché of the day: EU officials are bored of talking about how “strong and stable” they are compared to the U.K. The new trend is to “keep calm and carry on” in the face of British upheavals.

Charge of the soft brigade: Kate McCann and Gordon Rayner report on a secret cross-party plan to force a soft Brexit on May’s government. Scottish Conservative hero Ruth Davidson delivered a similar message to May on Monday, when she attended a political cabinet meeting in London.

Talks about talks: In what has to be one of the most over-hyped meetings of the year, May’s Brexit sherpa Oliver Robbins visited Brussels Monday to lunch with Barnier. As expected, they couldn’t talk details and couldn’t confirm when detailed talks would start.

What about the House of Lords? The Lords are deeply skeptical of a hard Brexit and will hardly interpret this election result as a mandate for one. With seven bills to pass to get the U.K. ready for Brexit in 2019, separate from the final EU exit agreement, if the May government doesn’t stumble over its wafer-thin House of Commons majority, it should expect headwinds in the Lords.

FINLAND — GOVERNMENT IMPLODES OVER EUROSKEPTIC HARDLINER: Prime Minister Juha Sipilä tweeted Monday that “there are no prerequisites for continuing the cooperation” with the True Finns, after the party chose hardline Euroskeptic MEP Jussi Halla-aho as its leader. The coalition soon imploded, with the prime minister asking the president to dissolve parliament. Sipilä told a news conference the two remaining coalition parties had little in common with the new True Finns. “We already had to stretch our common values to the extreme, and now the differences in values are even bigger.”

Halla-aho raises eyebrows in Brussels: Playbook hears that Halla-aho, in the course of lobbying against EU firearms regulation, told MEPs he owned a dozen semi-automatic machine guns and didn’t want them taken away.

UK — NEW ALLEGATIONS AGAINST BRITISH INTELLIGENCE SERVICES: “The British government is suppressing explosive intelligence that Alexander Perepilichnyy, a financier who exposed a vast financial crime by Russian government officials, was likely assassinated on the direct orders of [Russian President] Vladimir Putin.” BuzzFeed’s investigations team has more.

FRANCE — KIM JONG MACRON: Mocking Emmanuel Macron’s parliamentary dominance, some Twitter users have taken to calling the French president “Kim Jong Macron.” Nicholas Vinocur writes that in light of the very low turnout in the first round of France’s parliamentary election over the weekend (at just 48.7 percent) and systemic problems with the system, the country needs a fairer process for electing parliamentarians. One option is more proportional voting.

HUNGARY — PARLIAMENT TO VOTE ON CONTROVERSIAL NGO LAW: Foreign-funded NGOs are in the firing line today. Critics say new government legislation will create a chilling effect on civil society and stifle independent voices, despite recent amendments. “Cosmetic changes to the law in response to the Venice Commission have not altered the law’s true intent,” said Goran Buldioski, director of the Open Society Initiative for Europe.

THE NETHERLANDS — PUBLIC HOUSING FESTIVAL: The first International Social Housing Festival, which will last nine days, asks participants in Amsterdam today “how do we want to live in the future?”

REAL EUROPE: “I brought my six-year-old cat Charlie to a vet — a routine procedure against fleas and ticks. The doctor asked me if I wanted to have the cat examined for AIDS. Somehow in relation to that I was reminded of Sofia [Gay] Pride.” Desislava Radeva, wife of Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, describing her concerns about a recent LGBT rights march. Radeva went on to say she has gay friends and respects them but thinks there’s no need for an LGBT street protest.

ICYMI — A LOOMING MIDDLE EAST WAR: Ross Douthat.

PODCAST DU JOUR — THE SHOVE FELT AROUND THE WORLD: Montenegro’s Prime Minister Duško Marković speaks to POLITICO’s Susan Glasser on joining NATO, Russia, and that time Trump pushed him out of the way: “Marković told me when we met in Washington the other day, Trump’s boorish action now means the rest of the planet is suddenly familiar with Montenegro … ‘I have to say that I’m very grateful that this incident, so to say, took place. Because this is what made us so famous,’ Marković says. ‘This is what made Montenegro so famous.’” Transcript.

RUSSIA — OPPOSITION LEADER DETAINED: Russian opposition leader and government critic Alexei Navalny was detained just before a protest in Moscow, his wife said Monday.

US — ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS TO TESTIFY: The U.S. attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is to testify before Congress about his role in issues related to Russian interference in the U.S. election.

US — DC AND MARYLAND SUE TRUMP FOR BREACHING CONSTITUTIONAL OATH: Their attorneys general allege U.S. President Donald Trump has violated anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution by accepting millions in payments and benefits from foreign governments since moving into the White House.

US — HOW RUSSIA TARGETS THE MILITARY: Philip Breedlove, who stepped down last June as supreme allied commander of NATO and whose Gmail account emails were published on the Russian front site DC Leaks, told POLITICO: “What Russia is doing … is quite astronomical.”

ANNIVERSARIES: Thirty years ago this week, the most subversive speech of Ronald Reagan’s presidency was delivered in a divided German capital and became a point of passionate communion between the United States and Europe. Tunku Varadarajan talks to the man who wrote it.

The EU’s popular Erasmus student exchange scheme is also turning 30. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani host a ceremony in Strasbourg today.

MEDIA MOVES: The Economist’s Matthew Bishop, who has been with the publication in New York for the past decade, is transferring back to London.

BRUSSELS CORNER …

SPOTTED: The EU’s 28 Anticis — the right hands of national permanent representatives to the EU — gathered at the Slovak embassy Monday for lunch, bidding farewell to Tomas Kozak, who is going back to Bratislava at the end of June. Kozak will be back each month for foreign affairs council meetings.